SCIS is more

By Caroline Ramsden

News and updates from the Schools Catalogue Information Service (SCIS)

In the last issue of Connections, we highlighted some of the features of our new website, SCIS Data. We have been busy since then, fine-tuning the site, and have enabled some additional functionality in close collaboration with library system vendors.

Record preferences

In your school’s SCIS profile, there are some settings that you can customise to suit your school and the library system that you are using. You can find these by clicking on your school’s name in the top right of the screen, and then selecting My profile. Clicking on School/Organisation settings gives you the option to customise your downloads by setting Record preferences, and there are some new features here.

The first new setting is for Download preference. The SCIS default for downloading is a single, zipped folder with the MARC records and cover images both included. If your library management system prefers to import unzipped MARC records separately from the cover images, then select Separate MARC records and cover images. You will then see two buttons on the Downloads page — one for the MARC records, and one for the cover images.

The second new setting relates to the Holding format. If your library system requires the call number to be included in an 852 field in order to create a copy record, then you can select MARC holdings format (852 tag).

Remember to scroll to the bottom of the page and save your changes if you select either of the above options.

While you are in your library’s profile area, please take a moment to check that all the contact details for your school are up to date and that we have the current information.

Value-added features

We have also been working on some enhanced features for the SCIS Data record details pages. Look out for the ‘Additional terms’ area. SCIS Data examines the record details and, where possible, will determine what learning area the resource relates to. You will see links to other resources that relate to the same learning area. The same applies to the material type. This information is not part of the downloaded MARC record, but can be used to refine searches or help with material selection.

Search filters

You can also use learning area as a filter to refine your search results. After you do a search, the learning areas included in all your search results are displayed in the navigation panel of the ‘Search results’ page, and you can then filter your search results by any of the learning areas found. SCIS Data also looks for information about target audience level in the MARC record, and then enables you to filter by audience level. You can also filter by a number of other elements, such as publication date, subject, genre or material type.

Browse headings

There has been quite a bit of interest in the Browse headings page in SCIS Data, and we are working to add some exciting new features to it so that you can get even more out of this page and view more details for the headings.

Professional learning

We have kicked off the year with a number of professional learning webinars and workshops in Perth and Melbourne. We are planning further workshops for Terms 2 and 3, so remember to keep an eye on our professional learning page for upcoming session details and registrations, and look for us at school library events.

Caroline Ramsden

Caroline Ramsden

Manager, SCIS

Education Services Australia